Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Aloha to San Antonio - RWA Literacy Signing (part 1)


Romance stars came together last Wednesday for the Literacy Signing.   This mega event raised over $53,000 for literacy programs in San Antonio.  Above is Tracy Solheim, author of the Out of Bounds series set in Baltimore.  Tracy will be my partner for an upcoming project that kicks off in September to celebrate the football season ... stay tuned.


Geri Krotow displays the poster for her Christmas anthology with fellow veterans Lindsay McKenna and Delores Fossen.


Courtney Milan celebrates her RITA nomination ...


... and so is Mia Marlowe!


Terry Spear is an Army veteran turned romance author.  Love the jaguars!


I introduced myself to Holly Jacobs since we shared the credits page in the July issue of RWA's magazine.


Elizabeth Michels wore a cute dress each day!


Heather Graham is one of the first authors I read after discovering romance books.


Sally MacKenzie always has a smile!


I enjoyed PAW ENFORCEMENT from Diane Kelly!


Anne Gracie flew in from Australia to celebrate her RITA nomination.


Across the aisle, Elizabeth Hoyt and Frances Housden join the celebration with their own RITA nominations.


Lorraine Heath received an RWA service award for her contributions to literacy.


Patience Griffin dressed the part for her contemporary romance set in Scotland.  Sigh.  Alba. I bought a copy of TO SCOTLAND WITH LOVE


I love Cynthia Eden's Southern accent.


I moderated a panel with Vicky Dreiling ... she is always a pleasure to see!


Comments are open forum today.  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, August 16, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 17.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Eileen Dreyer toasts the Literacy Signing!






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Aloha to San Antonio - Authors Galore, Menger Hotel, and Librarian's Day


 

The stars were bright in San Antonio for RWA's Annual Conference, including Avery Flynn, Kimberly Kincaid, Cathy Maxwell, Carly Phillips, and Robin Covington.



Cathy and I enjoyed an evening stroll.  Above is the La Antorcha de la Amistad - the Torch of Friendship.  Sculpted by Mexican artist Sebastian, it was a gift from the Mexican government to the City of San Antonio in 2002.



Another view of the Tower of the Americas ...



... and the Alamo at twilight.



 The corner of Alamo Plaza and Crockett Street leads to the historic Menger Hotel.



From Wikipedia,

By the 1870s, the Menger was the best known hotel in the southwest. The hotel is mentioned several times in the works of O Henry, and hosted Ulysses S. Grant in 1880. It hosted Theodore Roosevelt at least three times, most notably in 1898 when he used the bar to recruit Rough Riders, who fought in Cuba in the Spanish-American War.



The Victorian interior offered a step back into a luxurious past ...



... including a stained glass ceiling.



The next day, I attended the Librarian's Day, including a networking event with ...



... Shana Galen holding a chocolate kiss martini, shaken but not stirred, in honor of her new historical romance, LOVE AND LET SPY.



Navy Veteran-turned-Harlequin author Geri Krotow (right) greets the chief librarian from Fort Sam Houston.   What's better than a day spent with librarians?!?!

One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about a historic hotel that you have visited.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, August 16, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 17.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Jennifer McQuiston (left) and Candis Terry (right) 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Aloha to San Antonio - Rivercruise and Riverwalk


On Tuesday morning, I met PJ from The Romance Dish (link) for the Rivercruise.  I found her chatting with Elizabeth Essex (right) about challenging places to record creative thoughts, including the shower.  Elizabeth recommended "aqua notes" from Amazon (link).  


Our captain offered a detailed tour of the San Antonio River with a side of humor.  


Following our Rivercruise, we followed the Riverwalk to the statue of San Antonio.


The Riverwalk offered lush scenery ...


... with tropical flowers.



The Bexar County Courthouse pops up in the skyline.  From Wikipedia,

The building was designed by architect J. Riely Gordon, and borders Main Plaza, along with such other architectural landmarks as the Cathedral of San Fernando. The style is Romanesque Revival, and the main material used is red sandstone. Ground was broken for Gordon's structure on August 4, 1891 and the cornerstone was laid December 17, 1892. After several delays, construction was fully completed in 1896. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.




The "beehive tower" is distinctive.



Lady Liberty guards the building.



Across the plaza stands San Ferdinand ...



 ... in front of his namesake church.  From its website (link), 

San Fernando Cathedral was founded in 1731 and is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas. The Cathedral building has the added distinction of being the oldest standing church building in Texas, and for all of its more than 281 years, has been serving the people of the Archdiocese and San Antonio. For almost 95 years, San Fernando served as the church for all of the religious denominations of San Antonio as the Catholic Church was the only recognized religion of the Spanish and Mexican governments prior to Texas' independence. As the first church in the city, San Fernando has a rich history of responding to the people's needs in and around the church.



Just inside the door is the tombstone for the heroes of The Alamo ....



... and the stone casket for them.



The church provided a cool sanctuary with classic Mexican architecture.



The gold alter gleamed against the white walls. 



John Paul II visited the San Fernando Cathedral in 1987.

 

We stopped by the market across the plaza ... 



... where volunteers promoted healthy living.



Walking back to the Alamo, I noticed more distinctive architecture ...



... and a cowboy!




Have you met a working cowboy?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, August 16, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 17.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


One of the shrines inside the San Fernando Cathedral.